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For Immediate Release: June 18, 2024

Contact: Ian Russell-Camara ([email protected]; 414-286-3385)

The City of Milwaukee Office of Community Wellness and Safety Grants $575,000 to Summer of Healing Awardees

Milwaukee, WI – The City of Milwaukee Office of Community Wellness and Safety (OCWS) is pleased to announce the awardees for the Summer of Healing project. Many community-based organizations and leaders effectively utilize their established relationships to reduce violence in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee. However, there is often a lack of resources available to facilitate strategies to promote healing, restorative practices, and resilience for youth, families, and residents in entire neighborhoods. In response, OCWS created the Summer of Healing project to provide over $575,000 to support these organizations, improve their capacity, and positively impact their communities.

“We are working together to bring peace and wellbeing to neighborhoods, families, and individuals in Milwaukee,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “An essential part of that work is partnerships.  No one, and no group, can be truly successful without the collaborative work of many.  With that in mind, I praise all the groups that are on board for the Summer of Healing.”

“Today marks a pivotal moment in our collective journey towards community healing as we announce the selection of twelve remarkable organizations for the Summer of Healing. Their unwavering dedication and innovative approaches pave the way for healing and resilience, guiding our youth and families who are disproportionately impacted by violence. As we celebrate the achievements of these twelve recipients, let us also acknowledge the profound impact of their work. Their programs instill a sense of empowerment and belonging in their participants, fostering a community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. We are thrilled to fund these organizations because they will give youth every opportunity to stay safe this summer,” said Ashanti Hamilton, Director of the Office of Community Wellness and Safety.

Awardees of these funds will coordinate and implement projects from June 15th through August 31st for free to support youth and their families who reside in Milwaukee’s Promise Zones or other communities disproportionately affected by violence. Families interested in participating in any of these programs are encouraged to reach out to each organization directly. The awardees and their projects are:

  • Allah Mode
    • Y.E.S. Summer Camp (Yoga, Energy, Self-Healing) is dedicated to "Nurturing the Healing Nature of Youth" through engaging and reflective activities that make healing a fun and enjoyable experience.  For more information, please contact Melissa Blue Muhammad (414-595-8748) or Vanessa Johnson (414-768-2268) or visit Allah Mode
  • Casa Romero
    • Over the summer of 2024, Casa Romero will offer their Youth Enrichment Summer Camps and Leadership Programming as part of the Office of Community Wellness and Safety’s Summer of Healing Program. Their summer youth programming provides engaging activities within a safe environment that offer creative outlets for Milwaukee’s urban youth community. Designed to provide a holistic model of support in which they address the social, emotional, and mental well-being of the youth they serve, their programming fosters self-esteem and resiliency in the face of the many challenges that confront urban youth. For more information, please contact DeAnn Cortés ([email protected]) or Carlos Beltrán (414-224-7564) . Additionally, more information can be found on their website: Casa Romero.
  • City Champs Foundation
    • The City Champs organization opens the door to martial arts for underserved youth in Milwaukee. The Summer of Healing program specifically allows City Champs to work with community partners to bring their free martial arts programming to those areas most in need. To set up a City Champs program or if you have a youth that would benefit from a martial arts program, please contact program director Nick Lee ([email protected]; 414-629-8814) to get set up or registered. For more information, please visit City Champs.
  • City on a Hill
    • City on a Hill's Summer Healing Program will deliver a series of evidence-based activities to support the emotional and psychological well-being of individuals and families in the Washington Park and North Division Promise Zones, areas deeply impacted by violence. This initiative includes resilience education sessions, family engagement events, and restorative practices for youth, aiming to foster emotional wellness, safety, and social development. For questions about programming or registration, please contact Amanda Carriveau (414-931-6671) and visit City on a Hill.
  • Diverse and Resilient
    • Diverse & Resilient’s Summer of Healing program provides mental health support and community-building activities for LGBTQ youth in Milwaukee, focusing on wellness, safe practices, and emotional intelligence. The program leverages peer educators, ongoing workshops, and restorative practices to foster social connections and emotional growth among participants. Bethamie Wyatt, Director of Community Programs, can answer questions about our programming and register interested youth. She can be reached at [email protected] or (414) 390-0444. To learn more, please visit Diverse and Resilient.
  • HIR Wellness
    • This summer, HIR Wellness Institute will participate in the City of Milwaukee’s Summer of Healing through their CAM™ Next Generation Cycle Starters™ programming for Indigenous and underserved victims of violence. Through therapeutic programs for all ages and CAMPsites™, they will offer free mental health and wellness services by licensed mental health professionals and certified wellness practitioners. All programming has been developed by their CEO and Founder, Lea S. Denny, to offer a healing-informed practice of care. For more information about their programs, please contact Guin, Program Coordinator, at [email protected]. To learn more about CAMPsites™, please contact Xavier, CAMPsite™ Supervisor, at [email protected]. Visit HIR Wellness Institute online at HIR Wellness to learn more.
  • Our Next Generation
    • Our Next Generation (ONG) offers a secure and interactive educational setting for Milwaukee's youth during the crucial summer break. ONG's Summer Camp is an 8-week full-day summer camp that is free of charge. It is centered around fostering healing, incorporating restorative practices, and building resilience in young individuals through a blend of academic and enrichment activities, including a goat program that will include chickens this year! The goal is to provide an enjoyable and engaging summer experience for the youth. To learn more, please contact Erica Tate ([email protected]; 414-344-2111) or visit Our Next Generation's website: Our Next Generation.
  • Running Rebels
    • The Running Rebels’ Summer of Healing project consists of a rotation of activities, primarily located at the RRCO East building – 225 W. Capitol Drive. Sound Healing, audio-visual/arts programming, the Be the Change male leadership program, and other wellness activities are available to youth ages 12-17. For more information, contact Dawn Barnett at 414-316-5202, or follow them on Facebook at Running Rebels.
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center
    • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center will operate six different camps from June to August 2024. These camps will specialize in Robotics & STEM, Arts & Fashion, Health & Wellness, and Basketball skill development, and each program will create opportunities to practice decision-making and problem-solving skills in a healthy and safe place for participants to develop themselves. If you are interested in signing your child up for programming, please contact Ashley Campbell, Youth Social Development Director ([email protected]; 414-463-7950).
  • Southside Organizing Center
    • Southside Organizing Center partners with youth in a holistic employment and leadership program with wraparound services for the whole family. It’s a bilingual (English & Spanish), culturally responsive, and year-round program that promotes wellness and safety as well as personal, academic, vocational, and community organizing leadership. To learn more, contact Jeannette Torres ([email protected]; 414-672-8090) or visit Southside Organizing Center.
  • STRYV365
    • STRYV 365's summer program engages Milwaukee youth through interactive sports and personal development activities designed to build resilience, empathy, and strong interpersonal skills. Over eight weeks, participants will engage in hands-on learning to manage stress, enhance resilience, and develop healthy relationships, all facilitated by STRYV365 coaches and mentors at community sites in designated Promise Zones. To learn more, contact Paula Lumelsky ([email protected]; 414-502-9576), Director of Education or visit STRYV365.
  • Your Move MKE
    • Your Move MKE will host hip hop hangouts that offer intentional workshops for underrepresented youth, promoting healing and skill growth in a secure environment. Activities range from Hip Hop Chess to Sound Labs and include mindfulness practices and Restorative Justice Art Sessions. To learn more, contact Rocky Aleman ([email protected]; 262-794-9131) or visit Your Move MKE.


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